Karen Gillan

  • Actor, Voice

Nov 28, 1987  in Inverness, Scotland, United Kingdom

Also Known as: Karen Sheila Gillan

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A Scottish actor and director, Karen Gillan is best known for essaying the role of Amelia Pond on the acclaimed BBC sci-fi series Doctor Who (2010 - `13). Some of her popular films include Not Another Happy Ending (2013) and Oculus (2013). In 2014, she essayed the character of Nebula in the movie Guardians of the Galaxy. Gillian turned director with the movie Tupperware Party, which was released in 2017.

Early Life
Gillian was born to Raymond Gillian, a singer and recording artist, and Marie, in Inverness, Scotland. She moved to Edinburgh at the age of 16 to study the HNC Acting and Performance course at Telford College. After completing the course, Gillian moved to London for pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Acting from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts Drama School. She was 18 then.

While Gillian was studying at the Italia Conti Academy, she was approached by a modeling agency. She began working as a model but also stated that acting will always be her main interest.

Television Career
As an Actor
Gillian began her acting career in 2006 with the TV show Rebus. She essayed the role of Teri Cotter in the episode `A Question of Blood`. Two years after she made her TV debut, the actress appeared in a TV movie Stacked directed by Jennifer Perrot. She also starred in The Kevin Bishop Show (2008 - `09), appearing in 12 episodes. However, one of her most prominent roles came with the TV show Doctor Who in which she was seen essaying the role of Amy Pound. Appearing on the TV show for three seasons, Gillian featured in 34 episodes and also won the Best Actress Award at the 2010 Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year Awards. In 2013, she portrayed the titular role of Daisy in NTSF:SD:SUV::.

Gillian was next seen in the TV movie We`ll Take Manhattan (2012) directed by John McKay. . Essaying the role Jena Shrimpton, Gillian received positive reviews for her performance in the movie. In the following years, she starred on TV shows such as A Touch of Cloth (2014), Selfie (2014), 7 Days in Hell (2015), and Emo Dad (2016, voice actor).

Movie Career
As an Actor
Gillian began her movie career with the 2010 movie Outcast directed by Colm McCarthy. However, one of the prominent roles of her career came with the movie Not Another Happy Ending directed by John McKay. In the same year, she played the titular role in the supernatural psychological horror Oculus (2013) directed by Mike Flanagan. The actress portrayed the role of Kaylie Russell who believes that her family has encountered unfortunate events due to an antique mirror. The movie opened to positive reviews while Gillian was also praised for her performance. She was next seen playing the role of the character Nebula, the daughter of Thanos, in the movie adaptation of a Marvel Comics` superhero team Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). For her negative role in the movie, the actress won the Best Female Newcomer at the 2015 Empire Awards. She reprised the role in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) and one again in Avengers; Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

In the next couple of years, Gillian appeared in a couple of short films viz. Bound for Greatness (2014), Warning Labels (2015) and The Circle (2017). In 2015, the actress was seen in the Academy Award winning movie The Big Short directed by Adam McKay. Her sole release in 2016, In A Valley of Violence directed by Ti West received positive reviews from the critics with Rotten Tomatoes` critical consensus stating: "In a Valley of Violence offers a smartly conceived homage to classic Westerns that transcends pastiche with absurdist humor and a terrific cast." In 2017 she played one of the lead roles in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and reprise the role in the movie`s sequel Jumanji: The Next Level (2019).

As a Director
Gillian made her directorial debut in 2015 with the short film Coward. In the same year, she directed another short film Conventional.